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Council overrides Police Chief, on issue of Direct Sellers Permit

GLENWOOD CITY — The City Council took the better part of an hour to discus a Direct Sellers Permit application that was denied by Police Chief Robert Darwin.

At question was a permit requested by Melissa Goza who resides in Arkansas, who applied for a permit to sell used cars within the city at a sales program called “Massive Vehicle Elimination Event” that was on going at the St. Croix County Fair Grounds in Glenwood City.

The used car sale started on Wednesday, October 4th and is scheduled to conclude on the 11th is sponsored by Cooper Motors out of New Richmond.

As a requirement of City Ordinance, each person that is coming into the community and has an item to sell is required to obtain a “Direct Sellers Permit” from the city.

The city received a number of applications for the permit from personnel at the used car sale, and all were approved except the one from Goza. She petitioned the City to hold a special meeting to consider the appeal of the denied application.

The Council held that special meeting late in the afternoon of Friday, October 6 and heard from Goza and Police Chief Darwin about the matter. Darwin explained he denied the permit, because of information he obtained from her background check. His written statement stated: “Application contains material and inaccurate statements. She has multiple felony convictions and extensive criminal history within the past five years.”

Goza explained to the council about the felony by telling the council “she had overdrawn her checking account, and that was a theft charge in Texas.” She stated that she has a license to sell cars in the State of Wisconsin, a license that was granted by the state. “The felony charges had nothing to do with selling cars,” she commented. 

Councilperson, Ken Peterson commented that he was not in favor of changing Bob’s (Chief Darwin) recommendation. “We have not seen your paper work. Member Terry Klinger commented that the state gave her a license and wondered how the city ordnance could go against the state.

The council questioned the license and felonies with Darwin noting to the council that the court conviction was on August 6, 2013 with both a class C and class E conviction. She indicated that she had an attorney working on the matter to clear up the matter. She was asked that it has been four years out, “why have you not had this changed yet?”

Both Mayor John Larson and Darwin commented that they had applications to process and that the city ordnance was not designed for this type of enterprise. “We got 15 applications from people from outside of the state to sell cars and we tried to get things turned around in three to five days,” the mayor said. “Our primary concern is for the citizens of this area.”

The mayor continued: “if the state is not worried about it, (selling cars), then should we be worried about it?”

The topic turned to her state license, which she did not have with her and stated that it was in the mail being sent from a car dealer in Stevens Point to Cooper Motors in New Richmond. Members of the council requested to see the license, but apparently it was not available. Jake Johnson of Cooper Motors noted to the council that it should be in his mailbox on Saturday, if not by Monday. Chief Darwin noted to the Council that he had seen the license.

After some more discussion, Member Ben DeGross moved to “Let her sell vehicles,” which would accept the appeal. Klinger seconded the motion. The motion was approved with DeGross, Klinger and Peter Gaustad voting yes and Peterson voting no with member Steve Lee abstaining stating that he came late and did not have all the information. Council member Nancy Hover was absent from the meeting.

DeGross asked that he be allowed to see the license and he confirmed on Monday that he had also seen the state license.